Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Kings Speech - A great movie for Valentine's Day

Yesterday a friend and I went to see The Kings Speech.  The film, based on the true story of King George (Bertie)VI, is about commitment, friendship and love. A perfect movie for Valentine's Day. 

After the death of his father King George V, and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie(Colin Firth),  who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue(Geoffery Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill, the King overcomes his stammer and delivers a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.

Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, this movie is the BEST movie I have seen in years. The costumes, setting (preWWII London), screen play and acting are superb, but the love/friendship story aspect of it is what made it so moving for me.

As Bertie struggles to find help for his speech problems, it is his wife, Elizabeth, who never gives up on him, never judges him and consistently supports him with unconditional love and acceptance. Due to their royal position, their relationship is serious, but also playful/fun; in one of the most charming scenes, Elizabeth sits on Bertie's stomach to help him with his breathing, saying "I quite enjoy this."

I will be reading The Queen Mother, by William Shawcross, to learn more about the life of this interesting woman.

The other loving relationship in the film is between The King and Logue; it shows what is possible when you believe in someone and the incredible healing power of friendship.   

And as Valentine's Day approaches, I will remember this movie and its message of what love/friendship can and should be for all of us, royal or not.

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